Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why Pop Culture Commentary Isn't A Form of Marketing

Some marketers are losing themselves over a tweet that Arby's sent out during the Grammy Awards on Sunday night.  This simple tweet poking fun at the resemblance between the hat musician Pharrell Williams was wearing that night and the Arby's logo is being hailed as genius because it went viral and people talked about Arby's.

Apparently that in its own right is enough to make Arby's a massive success.  Nevermind what was said.  It doesn't matter; people are actually talking about Arby's so pack up and call it a day - job well done.  

Unfortunately, a new generation of experts and gurus have convinced an industry (one that should be a little more guided by skepticism all things considered) that popularity equates to influence, that the key to selling stuff is not to sell anything at all and that the randomness of events is somehow strategic.

During the last Super Bowl, these same marketers were quick to trumpet the wild success of this tweet by Oreo.  Did that tweet change what anyone thinks about an Oreo cookie?  Will Arby's suddenly over take McDonald's or Chiptole after a day of news coverage?   

Branding is about more than the awareness of a logo.  It's not talk. It's action.  It's everything a company does.   Sadly though, it's becoming accepted practice that pop culture commentary should be one of those defining things.

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing.  

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